To stabilize and sweeten your whipped cream add powdered sugar. It dissolves instantly and the little bit of cornstarch it contains will stabilize your whipped cream, so it can be made ahead of time and it won’t deflate. Start by whipping the cream into soft peaks, then beat in 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar for every cup of cream. (Tip from Bon Appetit Magazine)
To clean your iron skillet without losing its seasoning, add a splash of water to a teaspoon of course salt. Use paper towel to wipe off food! (HGTV magazine)
To clean your nasty cookie sheets, sprinkle baking soda on the sheet, follow it up with some hydrogen peroxide and then sprinkle more baking soda on top. Let it sit for as long as two hours, then wipe it all away with a rag or coarse sponge. (Tip from Food & Wine)
Keep your crudites fresh for up to 12 hours: cover everything with damp paper towels, then wrap the platter in plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to serve. (Real Simple magazine)
Eggshells are excellent natural seed starters. Fill the empty shell with soil and seeds and when the plant sprouts, plant the shell, which becomes compost. (Real Simple magazine)
If you have overbaked your cake layers, make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; boil for 3 to 5 minutes, then brush the cake layers with syrup on both sides until they are “revived.” (Paula Deen)
Use lemon or lime juice as a marinade to tenderize chicken. (Paula Deen)
Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to beef stews to tenderize the meat.
The other night I found myself with all of the makings for tacos, except for a packet of taco seasoning. Ugh! No way was I going back to the grocery store for one ingredient. I searched the web, and found this delicious alternative…and the plus side? Yep, I had all of the ingredients right in my spice cupboard. I decided to look up other spice mixes that I can keep on hand to jazz up dinners and found some other fine ones. Try one tonight!
Taco Seasoning Mix
2 teaspoons instant onion, Minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, Crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon instant garlic, Minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin, Ground
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well.
Spoon mixture onto a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and fold to make airtight. Label as Taco Seasoning Mix.
Store in a cool, dry place and use within 6 months.
Using the above recipe as a guide you can increase the amounts to make any number of packages.
Taco Filling: Brown 1 lb lean ground beef in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; drain the excess grease. Add 1/2 cup water and the seasoning mix.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.